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How People Use Their Imaginations To Explain Mysteries

1490 words - 6 pages

There are many unanswered questions in this world. While it seems upsetting that we, as human beings, can not answer all the mysteries of the world, it is actually these mysteries that keep us happy. People are not meant to be able to explain every aspect of life; if we could then we would be a painfully jaded species. Ambiguity is what keeps the world spinning. Without unanswered questions there would be no research. What is NASA without obscurity? When conundrums puzzle us we turn to our imagination. The mind is the gateway to a world with only answers, or anything an individual chooses. People may be in control of their imaginations, but not their brains. Daniel Gilbert, in “Immune to Reality”, explains his theory of the brain’s psychological immune system. This, basically, is a person’s defense system against the dreadful things in life. When something goes wrong the brain automatically starts searching for positive views of the situation, “and as we’ve seen the human brain is one smart shopper” (Gilbert 216). Instead of staying unhappy the brain allows a person to rationalize a situation and move on with their lives. Similarly, the brain permits people who are ill-fated to make the best out of their condition. Sacks’ memoirists, in his essay “The Mind’s Eye: What the Blind See”, find ways to meet their full potential in life, even after being blinded. They use their imagination in such a way that they do not feel as if they are different than anyone else. Jenkins’ essay, “Why Heather Can Write: Media Literacy and the Harry Potter Wars”, exemplifies how people use mystery in literature to create a pleasing hobby, which is fan fiction. Fan fiction writing gives children and adults the opportunity to put answers to all the enigmas of their favorite book. Gilbert, Sacks, and Jenkins all represent mystery and imagination from different perspectives. All the writings together provide a good outlook on how mystery affects people, and how people use their individual imaginations to explain mysteries.
Gilbert has very strong theories on the human urge for explanation; Jenkins and Sacks both unknowingly help to support his research. Where there is an event there is someone trying to clarify it. Even though we feel as if we need everything explained, we are wrong. People always seem blissfully unaware of what they need to be happy. After reading Gilbert’s work, it is clear that happiness is in mystery; when the details are vague and the reasons are hidden we are happiest. Gilbert uses college students as an example of this irony. The students were involved in an experiment where they were picked as the favorite personality in a computer generated chat room. Students who were informed of each chat-person who picked them as the favorite moved on quickly from the compliments: “Although real students in both groups were initially delighted to have been chosen as everyone’s best friend, only the real students in the uninformed group remained delighted...

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